The Ultimate Guide To Green Smoothies

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slide1Photographed by Mike Garten.
There is little in this life that makes us feel more healthy, glowy, and Paltrow-esque than a big glass of green. Now, we may have been a little bit skeptical about some of her lifestyle choices, but this is one thing Gwyn definitely got right. A green smoothie is a fantastic addition to your regime, whether you're looking to boost nutrient-intake, kick-start your metabolism, or just start the day off on a healthier note. Here at R29, we're utterly hooked on our green drinks, both juiced and blended. Not only are they packed with nutrients, but somehow, if you start the morning with one of these you'll find yourself eating better throughout the day. But the smoothie blends have a major leg up on juice for two reasons.

First, with smoothies, you keep all the fiber and nutrients that get discarded in the juicing process — a major necessity for the metabolic benefits of greens. Second, and most important, making a smoothie is about 500 times more convenient than making a juice. Even if you don't have a juicer in your home, odds are you have something that blends (and if you don't, we have some tips on that, too). Read on for the four ultimate green smoothie recipes, each tailored for specific nutritional benefits and preferences. Whether you're looking to detox, de-bloat, or just enjoy a delicious sip, we'll show you how to go green.


Styled by Christy Kurtz
swiss_chard_smoothie_047_600x400Photographed by Mike Garten.
The Starter Green
This delicious is called The Starter, not only because it's a great way to kick-off your morning, but because for newbies to the green-smoothie realm, this is one to get you hooked. With a Swiss chard base, it's a powerhouse of phytonutrients, folate, and necessary vitamins. The flavor is light, and the additions of melon and pineapple give it a dose of tropical sweetness. The green smoothie comes off more like a beachside cocktail (minus the booze, sugar, and tiny umbrella.)

Ingredients:
3 large leaves of Swiss chard
1/2 cup fresh pineapple
1/4 cup fresh honeydew melon

These ingredients are all relatively soft, so you should be able to combine these well with just a traditional blender, immersion blender, or food processer. Add water as needed, and drink up!

Drink This For: Vitamins A, K, C, B6, and E, Manganese, Iron, Folate, Fiber, Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Copper, Potassium, Magnesium, and Pantothenic Acid.

DandelionSmoothies01_600x400Photographed by Mike Garten.
The Detox Green
Not that you've ever overindulged at a friend's birthday, holiday party, or post-work happy hour that turned into a Friday night you can't quite remember — that never happened to us last weekend either. But in case you ever do, this is the smoothie that will save you the next day. Dandelion greens are nature's rapid detoxifier, so powerful that medical facilities even administer dandelion tea to assist in flushing the body of toxins. Antioxidant-rich berries and parsley, plus hydrating grapes, help to boost the flavor of this bitter green, while also helping to revive you, fast. Skip the greasy hangover breakfast, and give this smoothie a shot. You'll be off the couch in no time and looking a lot better than your roommate on the bathroom floor. Maybe make her a smoothie, too.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups dandelion greens
1/2 cup parsley
1/2 cup red grapes
1/4 blackberries

For this smoothie, try a food processor, powerful blender, or smoothie maker. We love the NutriBullet, and the new HUROM Premium Slow Juicer/Smoothie Maker for its pulp-control feature that allows you to make a more fluid-based smoothie (when you could really use the hydration).

Drink This For: Antioxidants, Anti-Inflammatories, Vitamins A, K, C, B6, B1, B2, and E, Flavonoids, Phosphorous, Zinc, Manganese, Calcium, Iron, Folate, Fiber, Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Copper, Potassium, Magnesium, Niacin, and Phytoestrogens.

kale_smoothie_071_600x400Photographed by Mike Garten.
The Classic Green
Kale, apples, and lemon. It doesn't get much better than that (at least that's what your skin, hair, immune system, and internal organs think). This traditional combo is one of the best ways to benefit your bod, prevent illness, and glow from the inside out. For those phobic of the hearty kale flavor, toss in some green grapes, which pack a punch of sweet-and-tartness that make this health-bomb a real treat. If you're not yet sold, just put it to the test. Try this knockout green smoothie every morning for two weeks. If you don't notice a change in your appearance, energy, and digestion, get back to us. You may be a robot.

Ingredients:
3 large kale leaves, plus stems
1/2 Red Delicious apple
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup green grapes

Chop everything into manageable pieces, throw it all in a powerful blender or smoothie maker, and add additional water or juice if you have trouble breaking the stems down. Kale is a particularly tough green so you may need to let it run for an additional minute (tip: Stop and start a few times to let it settle and incorporate).

Drink This For: Omega-3 and 6, Folic acide, Fiber, Protein, Carotenoids, Glucosinolates, Vitamins K, A, and C, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Copper, Manganese, Calcium, Iron, Phytonutrients, Antioxidants, Selenium, Citric Acid, Flavanoids, and Folate.

spinach_smoothie_049_600x400Photographed by Mike Garten.
The Energizer Green
This simple, sweet green juice is our go-to when we're feeling depleted and low-energy. Loaded with fortifying goodies like iron, protein, electrolytes, and B vitamins, this packs a better punch than an afternoon espresso, minus the crash. It's another great hydrator thanks to the cucumber, and makes an ideal post-workout smoothie that will replenish any lost minerals you sweat out. Bonus points go to the spinach base, since research shows that blending the vegetable raw (i.e. smoothie-fying it) is the optimal way to absorb its beneficial nutrients.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups spinach
1/2 cup strawberries
1/2 cucumber (leave the peel, just wash it well!)
1/8 cup fresh mint leaves

Again, these ingredients are on the softer side, so don't require much power to combine them. Chop the strawberries and cucumbers well, and blend with an immersion blender, regular blender, or food processer, adding water as necessary. Enjoy!

Drink This For: Iron, Fiber, Protein, Electrolytes, Potassium, Vitamins K, A, C, B1, and B6, Folate, Manganese, Magnesium, Mint Oil, Flavanoids, Anti-Inflammatories, and Biotin.


Styled by Christy Kurtz



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